Let's get one thing straight: The 2020 summer jams are getting justice this summer. So, yes, not only will we be blasting Olivia Rodrigo's "Brutal" and other new 2021 summer songs, but we'll also be listening to Saweetie's "Tap In" on repeat. It's time to get reacquainted with sipping frosé on rooftops and beach days that turn into beach nights followed by hot, sweaty dancing at the clurb. (Yes, I said clurb.) The first step is downloading these summer songs, below, that will get you hype for your official hot girl summer or, well, just leaving the house.
"Brutal" - Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo needs no introduction, but if you need an excuse to listen to her debut album, read through these reactions to it then play "Brutal" while you're getting ready to go out. It's just another reminder that you're an angsty teen at heart.
"Seeing Green" - Nicki Minaj, Drake & Lil Wayne
Nicki Minaj's Beam Me Up Scotty is not a new album, but rather a re-release of her iconic 2009 mixtape that reminds of us the genius collabs we were blessed with back in the day, like this Nicki x Drake x Wayne masterpiece, "Seeing Green."
"a m a r i" - J. Cole
It's difficult to pick a favorite off of J. Cole's The Off Season (he really didn't have to go that hard!), but "a m a r i" slaps every time.
"Fck Boys" - Blxst & Russ
This Blxst x Russ collab has the chill summer vibes we can only aspire to achieve with the windows rolled down on the way home from the beach.
"Mr. Perfectly Fine" - Taylor Swift
Time to stop watching girls on Tik Tok have their reunions with the club screaming along to "Mr. Perfectly Fine" and finally have your own!
"MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" - Lil Nas X
You might recognize Lil Nas X's "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" from news segments discussing parents' outrage over Lil Nas X giving a devil a lap dance. Consider blasting this song all summer long as a form of resistance to anyone who has a problem with it.
"Best Friend" - Saweetie ft. Doja Cat
Yes, this music video is a live vision board of my friends and I heading to the club this summer for the first time in over a year. What about it?
"What's Next" - Drake
Drake has yet to drop his highly-anticipated album he said he would release earlier this year, but he did drop his EP "Scary Hours 2," which includes this banger "What's Next," along with "Lemmon Pepper Freestyle" and "Wants and Needs."
"Peaches" - Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar
For the most summer-y song of the summer, all credit goes to Justin Bieber and Daniel Caesar. Try not to annoy your friends all summer singing, "I got my peaches out in Georgia / I get my weed from California" 10 times over.
"Up" - Cardi B
With lyrics like, "I said my face bomb, ass tight / Racks stack up Shaq height / Jewelry on me, flashlight / I been lit since last night" need we say much more? Cardi B kills it with the summer jams, per usual.
"Tap In" - Saweetie
Saweetie is out here giving us the hype we need to 1) stop answering our toxic ex and 2) remind us that we can pretend the living room is the club all summer long.
"WHATS POPPIN" - Jack Harlow
Within a year, Jack Harlow has become a household name. The 23-year-old Kentucky-bred rapper knows how to drop a beat, as proven in "WHATS POPPIN."
"Boyfriend" - Selena Gomez
Sometimes our Hot Girl Summer doesn't play out the way we expect it to, so instead we jam to Selena Gomez's "Boyfriend" from her deluxe album, Rare.
"Rain on Me" - Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande
"Do It" - Chloe x Halle
"Do It" is a top song off of Chloe x Halle's sophomore album, Ungodly Hour, bringing all of the energy we need at the pregame before purposefully bumping into an ex later that night.
"Open Up" - UMI
During the hot summer evenings when you allow yourself to feel all of the feels, kick back to UMI's "Open Up."
"Borderline" - Tame Impala
When life gets overwhelming, put on Tame Impala's "Borderline" and allow yourself to escape into the pop electro sound.
"NO MAÑANA" - Black Eyed Peas and El Alfa
If you didn't think you missed the club before, play "NO MAÑANA" and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll be calling up your girlfriends to go out.
"Intentions" - Justin Bieber ft. Quavo
Set the tone for the summer with Justin Bieber's "Intentions" from his album, Changes. Roll down the windows in the car and feel the breeze on your face while you jam to this feel-good song that's a reminder of your worth.
"Cool Off" - Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott is out here creating the official Summer 2020 Twerk Song™ heard in clubs 'round the world. “Cool Off” is the third single from Iconology, and I'm sweating already.
"Baby Girl" - Bryce Vine ft. Jeremih
You'll either love or hate Bryce Vine's "Baby Girl"—the flirty dance beat is unlike anything out there right now. Give it a full listen, then watch yourself play it on repeat for the next hour.
"B.S." - Jhené Aiko ft. H.E.R.
Jhené Aiko is absolutely back on her bullshit. Allow "B.S." to give you the permission you need to delete his number and make room for those new Hinge prospects.
"Yo Perreo Sola" - Bad Bunny
If you haven't gotten on the Bad Bunny train yet, please hop on and allow "Yo Perreo Sola" to be your official introduction to the 27-year-old Puerto Rican singer and rapper who's quite literally changing the pop game.
"Cool" - Dua Lipa
"Cool" belongs at the end of an '80s rom-com, which is exactly the kind of vibes we could all use this summer. The lyrics are proof: "You got me, you got me losin' all my cool / I guess we're ready for the summer." In fact, Dua Lipa's entire Future Nostalgia album should be played on repeat starting now.
"Feelings" - Lauv
Lauv's debut album, How I'm Feeling, deserves all the stars. "Feelings," in particular, is three minutes and four seconds of hope that we can still experience the spark we felt for that certain someone pre-pandemic despite the overall stress and anxiety we've been feeling lately.
"12.38" - Childish Gambino ft. 21 Savage, Ink, & Kadhja Bonet
Childish Gambino does it again in "12.38" off his new album, 3.15.20. Imagine this one blasting in your AirPods while you lay on a towel and soak up the inescapable heat. It doesn't even bother you because you've been inside for so long.
"Savage Remix" - Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé
The internet lost its sh*t when Houston natives Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé dropped the "Savage Remix," and it's safe to say nobody will be the same. Let Hot Girl Summer round two (three?) commence.
"Oprah's Bank Account" - Lil Yachty & DaBaby ft. Drake
I'm not sure what's better—watching Lil Yachty dress up as Oprah Boprah and interview Drake, who's featured on the track, in the music video or the actual song itself: a certified bop.
"Toosie Slide" - Drake
Speaking of Drake, "Toosie Slide" gives us an intimate look at the rapper's insane Toronto mansion—equipped with a pool, basketball court, Kobe jerseys, Birkins for his future wife...need I go on?—and instantly became a viral Tik Tok jam.
"Say So" - Doja Cat
Doja Cat's "Say So" has Gwen Stefani vibes written all over it, and will be played on every radio station throughout the summer. Trust.
"From Florida With Love" - Drake
The day before he dropped Dark Lane Demo Tapes, the 14-track mixtape we all desperately needed, Drake announced he's also releasing a new album this summer. "From Florida With Love" is a top song off Dark Lane, next to "Desires," "Pain 1993," "Time Flies," and "Losses." I promise you'll be seeing this song title on Instagram captions all summer long.
"Moana" - G-Eazy & Jack Harlow
"Moana" is the quarantine jam that will carry its way throughout the summer and then some. G-Eazy and Jack Harlow recorded the beat while in quarantine themselves—you'd just never know by how hard it bumps.
"Songs About You" - CHIKA
CHIKA's EP, Industry Games, is a truly refreshing account about defying industry standards to get to where she is and where's she going. Listen closely and you'll realize the 24-year-old Alabama native is one of the most underrated rappers in the game right now.
"RITMO" - Black Eyed Peas & J Balvin
Even though "RITMO" technically came out at the end of 2019, the Black Eyed Peas x J Balvin party anthem is still going strong and won't be stopping anytime soon.
"Dangerous City" - dvsn & Ty Dolla $ign
DVSN, composed of Daniel Daley and producer Nineteen85, is the most underrated R&B duo under the OVO label. "Dangerous City" is a vibe for the summer, along with "Miss Me?" and "A Muse" from their third studio album, A Muse in Her Feelings, that dropped last April.
"FIND MY WAY" - DaBaby
Love DaBaby or hate the DaBaby, there's no denying "FIND MY WAY," off his album, Blame It on Baby, is a refreshingly vulnerable depiction of his fame and the relationships that have been fractured because of it. It's a slight change of pace for the rapper, but nonetheless a great song to add to the car playlist.
"Blinding Lights" - The Weeknd
While the rest of The Weeknd's album, After Hours, doesn't exactly scream "summer!" with its moody tracks and reflective lyrics about living a life that doesn't live up to previous expectations, "Blinding Lights" is a let-loose song that will come in handy for mid-day dance breaks.
"Here and Now" - Kenny Chesney
Even non-country music fans, like myself, can appreciate Kenny Chesney's "Here and Now," which was practically made for summer with lyrics like, "Here and now / Nowhere else in this world enough / You and me, ain't it good to be alive? / Ain't no better place, ain't no better time than / Here and now."
"Rare" - Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez's Rare is a 13-track masterpiece that immediately became one of the best albums of 2020. It's vulnerable, sexy, and will give you all of the feels that are supposed to be felt in the summer: love, excitement, and fun.
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Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.
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